In the past 5 years I came up with – or more to the point – collected, co-created, PFE'd and remixed quite a few memes and phrases that end up surfacing in my work all the time, and therefore must have some sort of value, I reckon. So, below, I am sharing some of my favorite memes – obviously they are all related and interconnected. Feel free to comment and fill-in the blanks.
Most of these memes will be discussed in depth in my next book, "Broadband Culture" (ETA…? who knows – it's still very much work-in-progress, so stay tuned)
Gerd's Favorite Memes (July 2009)
- The End of Control. This was the main riff in my 2007/2008 blog-book and basically describes the fact that no matter which business you are in, having total control is no longer the single most important factor that impacts financial or material success. Yes, more control equalled more money for a long time – but now, in the inter-connected digital economy, the concept sounds like wishful thinking. In fact, it seems much more likely that in the future, the more control we desire and push for the less successful we will be! If this inspires you, by all means, feel free to download all End of Control chapters here, or google for more stories on this juicy meme.
- Paying with Attention. This is my much-simplified way of expressing a key trend that I have been observing in many industries, worldwide. Yes, of course we have always kind-of paid with attention in order to receive free stuff i.e. mostly content (e.g. free-to-air TV, broadcast-radio). 'Buying Attention' has always been the basic premise of advertising, marketing and PR – already a Trillion $ USD business – BUT the future will bring drastic changes in regards to how all of this will actually work. For starters: advertising as interruption is finished, and advertising as engagement, conversation and yes, advertising as content (and vice-versa), is where things are going – and quickly. This is a seriously tough challenge to everyone working in the advertising and marketing industries; but since a lot more content & media companies are now looking to get paid via, from or through that huge fire-house of ad-money that will stem from next-generation and mobile marketing, maybe this will work out much quicker than we are currently anticipating?
- Feels Like Free and Freemium. This is a crucial meme; and the discussion fueled by the release of Chris Anderson's new book "Free" (which is a must-read, btw) is certainly adding to the buzz. If more and more things-that-used-to-be-paid-for become free because of disruptive technologies that Millions if not Billions of people are starting to adopt, what will happen to those tried-and-true business models that still underpin all of those companies that are serving these sectors today? Is Freemium (note that this term is definitely not my creation) and Feels-Like-Free / FLF (kinda sorta fueled by my writing… and I own the URL;)
- Friction is Fiction. This tagline pretty much says it all: if the success of your business is based on making a steady amount of $$ out of friction that the 'people formerly known as consumers' must endure only because there is no other way to get what you offer, then, yes, you are in deep trouble (with very few exceptions). This goes for the music industry, the news / print / publishing business, telecoms, marketing and advertising agencies and for the Radio / TV / Broadcasting giants: as soon as someone, sometime, somewhere finds a way to reduce or completely remove that friction, your old model is history. Better see to it yourself…?! Yes, btw, I do own that URL, as well;). A related podcast is here if you need it.
- The People formerly known as Consumers. This one comes easy to most of us – and yet it describes an often harsh reality at the same time. Clearly, consumers have already become users, pro-sumers, content co-creators, followers, influencers… but now their power is growing every single day. It's the USERS, and to be more precise, the KIDS, that are in charge now. This 'economy of participation and engagement' is quite a different cup of tea – media, marketing and 'selling' anything is changing drastically because of this.
- Data is the new Oil - and linked data is even better oil ;) I originally ran across this nugget here and was further inspired via a subsequent conversation with a Twitter follower, via Friendfeed. What do I mean with this? Well, basically, I see a solid trend towards a continuous increase of the monetary value of the data that all of us are generating every time we connect, i.e. click on a link, share a video, post a message, embed a photo, send an SMS, rate a product or simply go from one page to another. Everyone wants this data, in it's purest, most unfiltered and 100% privacy-ignorant form, if possible, because it tells a story about who we are, what we like… and what we may purchase or otherwise pay attention to. Call it the click-stream, the digital bread-crumbs or the cyber-exhaust – the more we interact online, the more we share, the more we communicate via the Net, the higher the value of this data – it is indeed the glue for transactions, which in turn is the glue of, well, pretty much all business… you get the drift.
- Finding and being found. An old hat, really, but given the recent explosion in accessing the Net via smart mobile devices, this is taking on a whole new meaning. Soon, if your business can't be found very easily on Google (or Nokia?) Maps and on 1000s of location-aware mobile phone applications, it will pretty much mean that you don't really exist – you are virtually a secret.
- The real-time web. A very recent and radical (if not unanticipated) development powered by the likes of Twitter, Facebook, Friendfeed, and maybe MSFT's new Bing.com? In any case, this seems to one of Google's main new challenges…
- ECOystem not Egoystem. Umair Haque from Havas Media Lab is my biggest influence for this meme, and he deserves the real credit for egging me on with this meme. A quick summary: we are in the midst of a tremendous shift in the very fabric of our society, away from the 'good' old paradigm of extreme capitalism and economic egoism, and towards the idea of a new, interconnected, collaborative, interdependent Ecosystem that allows or rather forces us to generate new revenues and new benefits, together, rather than pursue only our own agenda.
- The 21st Century Content Ecology. This is a term I like to use when thinking about a new logic that underpins all content and media business models going forward: web-native, inter-connected, ubiquitous and friction less, i.e. liquid. To define these new economics is a major job, indeed – thankfully there are many very smart people working on this;)
- Open is King: Open software, open mobile platforms, music without DRM, open codecs, open collaboration platforms, open APIs – open is faster and better, more competitive, more suitable for a digital society. But it's certainly not an easy switch to make – we are soooooo used to wanting control.
- Lubricating the digital economy is the biggest opportunity for a lot of players in the Telecom / ICT / TIME / Media / Technology space, in my view. With an ever increasing amount of our data, our content, our contacts, our resources and our work online, we will need faster connections at lower costs, easier and cheaper payment methods, more personalizable and customizable offerings, better bundle and flat-rate deals… and on and on and on. If you can lubricate what we want you've got a winning model!
Did I mess anything?
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